One child, one teacher, one book and one pen, can change the world. ~ Malala Yousafzi
Effective professional development for teachers must begin with careful planning that gives faculty and staff a voice in what they will learn and how they will learn it. For teachers to be successful in the classroom – and for student outcomes to be positive – teachers must be constantly learning and growing, engaged in professional growth that improves their teaching.
At Alludo, we work with our clients every day to provide them with an online and interactive, learner-centered model for professional growth for teachers. With that in mind, here are 10 benefits of teacher professional development.
Table of Contents
- Sets Teachers Up for Success in the Classroom
- Exposes Teachers to New Ideas and Theories of Education
- Helps Teachers to Set and Achieve Goals
- Improves Teacher Organization and Planning
- Helps Teachers Deliver Better Learning Outcomes for Students
- Helps District Administrators Lead More Effectively
- Improves Engagement for Both Students and Teachers
- Increases Teacher Job Satisfaction and Improves Retention
- Helps Administrators and School Boards Improve Curricula
- Improves School and District Quality
#1: It Sets Teachers Up for Success in the Classroom
Arguably the most important benefit of professional development for teachers is that it sets teachers up for success in the classroom. To be effective, teachers must be excellent communicators, able to explain complex concepts and ideas to students.
Since educational theories are constantly changing and developing, it stands to reason that teachers who stay up-to-date and informed about what works and what doesn’t are more likely to be successful than those who aren’t engaged in a dynamic system that fosters professional growth and learning.
Professional growth enables teachers to connect with students, meeting them where they are with the confidence that they can give students what they need, when they need it. Without professional development, teachers may stagnate and find themselves frustrated in the classroom.
#2: It Exposes Teachers to New Ideas and Theories of Education
It wasn’t that long ago that teachers were requiring students to recite long passages of history or do math in their heads. Those techniques seem antiquated now because they are. The profession of teaching is constantly evolving as educators at all levels experiment with new theories and techniques.
An effective professional development model for teachers exposes them to new ideas and theories of education. They may learn new ways to lecture on a chosen topic, connect with students, or evaluate student progress. For example, assigning students to work in groups can encourage English learners and increase their fluency faster than working alone.
There’s a direct line from new teaching theories to improved student outcomes. For that reason, it’s essential for both teachers and administrators to embrace changes in teaching and stay abreast of new methods to connect with students and help them to be successful.
#3: It Helps Teachers to Set and Achieve Goals
Most people, regardless of their profession, work best when they have clearly identified goals. Without goals, even the most dedicated educators and administrators may feel like they’re adrift. That’s a perception that can put anybody into a rut, professionally or personally.
The right professional development model for teachers helps them to identify areas where they can improve, set realistic goals, and reach them. For that reason, it’s important to have a measurable professional growth plan that incentivizes participation, celebrates achievement, and allows a district and school leader to track each learners’ progress.
With Alludo, it’s easy to measure learners’ progression, keeping teachers, staff, and administrators engaged. Teachers and staff see their progress thanks to a badge system that allows them to mark their achievements. District leaders can order reports and stay on top of professional development statistics anytime, anywhere.
#4: It Improves Teacher Organization and Planning
Before an educator ever sets foot in a classroom, they are likely to spend hours planning their lessons, creating assignments, and coming up with ways to engage students. Without planning, lessons may feel haphazard and students may mentally check out.
The same is true of organization. The best teachers are those that have organized lesson plans and organized classroom materials. If a substitute teacher is required, they can easily pick up where the regular teacher left off because everything is in order. There’s no confusion and no reason for students’ progress to get derailed.
One of the most important benefits of effective professional development opportunities is that they provide learners with organizational and planning skills that lead directly to improved teacher and student performance in the classroom.
#5: It Helps Teachers Deliver Better Learning Outcomes for Students
Ultimately, the goal every school district prioritizes is the goal of improving student outcomes in the classroom and beyond. Student outcomes may be defined as grade averages, performance on standardized tests, graduation rates, or rates of acceptance to colleges and universities. It’s the one goal that every teacher agrees on.
In addition to those more traditional student outcomes that districts are measured on, effective professional learning helps teachers focus on what their students need. When a student learns what she needs, her confidence grows, and she becomes a contributor to her community.
An effective professional development course gives them new instruction strategies to connect with each student in their classroom. Since students vary in their needs and learning styles, it’s essential for teachers’ professional growth to prioritize student outcomes both in terms of measurable performance and general growth.
Professional learning helps teachers to embrace new techniques and technologies that engage students and keep them interested in what they’re learning. There’s a direct correlation between student engagement and student outcomes, so it stands to reason that giving teachers the tools they need for professional growth would have a net positive impact on student learning.
#6: It Helps District Administrators Lead More Effectively
The quality of a school district is tied to multiple factors, including teacher performance in the classroom, student engagement, and the overall environment in which teachers teach and students learn. That means district administrators play an important and often unrecognized role in the way their school districts are perceived.
Administrators need professional learning to improve their communication and planning skills. It’s their ability to connect with teachers, provide them with what they need to educate students, and explain their decisions to parents, school administrators, and the public at large that defines the school district as a whole, and online professional development ensures that administrators can do their jobs effectively.
#7: It Improves Engagement for Both Students and Teachers
We’ve already talked about the importance of engagement, but it bears repeating. When teachers are actively engaged in their jobs and with their students, they’re going to do a better job of educating their students. Likewise, engaged students are likely to have better outcomes than students who are disengaged and detached.
The Alludo philosophy hinges on the idea that the right professional development model can improve engagement for both students and teachers. With our platform, students and teachers are engaged at rates between 70% and 90% – much higher than with traditional professional development.
#8: It Increases Teacher Job Satisfaction and Improves Retention
Attracting new teachers is time-consuming and expensive for school districts, which explains why teacher retention is a top priority for many. Research shows that approximately 8% of teachers leave the profession every year while an additional 8% leave one school district for another. That’s a 16% attrition rate. When you consider that urban school districts spend approximately $20,000 to acquire a single teacher, it should come as no surprise that school districts can save money by improving teacher retention.
A professional development model that’s learner-centered and prioritizes growth can help to increase teacher satisfaction and retention. When teachers feel excited and engaged with their jobs – and supported by their school districts and administrators – they’re less likely to leave in search of greener pastures.
#9: It Helps Administrators and School Boards Improve Curricula
Just as teaching methods and standards have evolved over time, curricula must also evolve to incorporate new theories and information. Without evolution, the classroom would stagnate and students would not have the critical thinking skills they need to be successful beyond the classroom.
A professional development program can benefit administrators and school districts by helping them stay on top of the changing needs and requirements of students. Updated curriculum materials can be easily developed and implemented when everybody in the district, from the superintendent to school staff, stays informed and up-to-date on what students need to be well educated.
#10: It Improves School and District Quality
Finally – and from the perspective of parents and school leaders, most importantly – a system of professional development that engages teachers is also, inevitably, going to improve the quality of schools and school districts.
Performance may be measured in a variety of ways, but with Alludo, school administrators can track and measure PD performance on multiple levels, including teacher progression and performance, progress on district initiatives, and more. We provide one view of the health of all professional learning efforts across systems, initiatives, and audiences that lets you slice and dice all of the data from any angle.
Alludo’s Take on Effective Professional Development
At Alludo, we recognize that students need school districts, schools, and teachers and staff who are dedicated to providing them with the critical thinking skills and knowledge necessary to help them become successful and responsible citizens. That’s why we’ve created (according to our customers!) the best interactive and measurable model of professional learning, designed to allow teachers and administrators to engage in a system of continuous improvement.
With modules that are designed to encourage participation and engagement, a badge system to measure progress, and a built-in way to allow teachers to self-direct their professional development, we can give you a district-specific system to help you improve teacher engagement and retention and get the student outcomes you dream of.
Professional Development to Benefit Educators and Students at Every Level
The ten benefits of effective professional development for teachers we’ve listed here are truly only the tip of the iceberg – because the benefits accrue to students, parents, and communities at large as much as they do to schools. Choosing the right professional development model can have a ripple effect starting with teachers, staff, and students, and continuing throughout your community.
Experience personalized learning for all levels of educators with a free trial of Alludo’s professional development platform. You’ll enjoy:
- Hundreds of core topics
- Asynchronous microlearning activities
- Timely and specific feedback
- Analytics that show learning impact
- Access anytime, anywhere
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“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” ~Albert Einstein